Francis O’Kelly, Lord Ballindine, had as near neighbors, distant relations and tenants, Mrs. Kelly and her son Martin. Another neighbor was Barry Lynch, whose father had filched from the Ballindine estate a considerable fortune, which he left in equal portions to his worthless son Barry and to his daughter Anty. Barry attempted to force Anty into an asylum, declaring her to be mentally unfit to manage her fortune, and, failing this, tried to murder her. She fled to the Kellys, where Martin, not unmindful of her wealth, planned to marry her. Before he made this sordid proposal, he fell in love with her-and she with him. Lord Ballindine had been engaged to Fanny Wyndham, a wealthy heiress whose guardian Lord Cashel tried to marry her to his dissipated son Lord Kilcullen. His plan failed, and the lovers were reunited. Lord Kilcullen, crippled by debt, escaped from his creditors by going to Boulogne, where Barry Lynch was soon compelled to follow him.
"Lord Ballindine and Fanny Wyndham, the hero and heroine, who have been estranged before the story begins, do not meet again until the middle of the next to the last chapter, and their only recorded conversation is the two exclamations there set down: "My own Fanny!-once more my own!" "Oh, Frank! dear Frank!" - Irwin